Providing a level of satisfaction to associates should be a priority, for managers seeking to attract and retain good employees. It should also be the responsibility of employees, as well, within the organization. Each group can play a pivotal role in heightening job satisfaction.
Whether you’re an employee or a manager, there are things you can do to improve overall job satisfaction. A recent Gallup Poll survey on job satisfaction was so surprising that Gallup's own CEO Jim Clifton said, "The very practice of management no longer works. The old ways no longer achieve the intended results." To validate such a statement he can point to the fact that 51% of employees surveyed are searching or watching for new job openings.
Scott Mautz of the Chicago Tribune pieced together some other statistics from that survey that help explain the level of dissatisfaction across the US.1
78% of employees are not convinced leaders have a clear direction for the organization.
That's a lot of employees who seem to be floundering for lack direction, especially when you realize that clearly articulating corporate goals is such a fundamental responsibility of leadership.
88% of employees would switch to a job that allows flexible work arrangements.
While there are many jobs that do not lend themselves to much flexibility, that sounds like a shockingly high number of occupations for which some consideration of flexibility is ignored.
Only 23% of employees agree that their manager provides meaningful feedback.
This may be an indication that companies fail to properly prepare managers for their responsibilities. Perhaps this indicates that new entrants into the job market expect more feedback than seasoned, more established employees, and/or those who have ascended to management positions.
3 in 10 employees say that someone at work encourages their development, while 87% of millennials rate professional growth and development opportunities as important to them, but only one-third strongly agree that their most recent learning opportunity at work was well worth their time.
This does not speak well of overall corporate culture.
12% of employees say their company does a great job of onboarding new hires.
Certainly corporate management has a large measure of responsibility for these rather dismal numbers, but employees themselves share a big part. Leadership comes not only from those with the title of "Manager". Leadership comes from within everyone - and the more someone is established in his or her position, the more opportunity one has to be a leader for others.
So what can you do to help improve the level of job satisfaction for yourself and within your company?
1. Communicate corporate goals across the organization.
Established employees must be fully cognizant of their corporate goals. They should be shared with newer hires too. Planning sessions, training exercises and projects should all be framed in terms of how they support your corporate goals.
2. Have transparent guidelines for remote workers.
Once guidelines for remote reporting have been established, attitude plays a large part in reinforcing those guidelines. Although not all employees engage in remote reporting, they all need to recognize its value and respect the process.
3. Set up meaningful feedback between managers and employees.
All managers, especially newly appointed managers, need management training. The most productive employee isn't necessarily a good manager. The process of selecting managers should include an assessment of instincts and past leadership experiences. It is a company's fiduciary responsibility to choose and train managers effectively.
Every employee (whether working in the office or remotely) should feel comfortable asking for direction and seeking input from his or her manager. The goal is for mutual respect and teamwork.
4. Seek out mentors and plan for career development.
Corporate culture evolves from the actions and interactions of all employees. It trickles up as much as it trickles down from corporate leadership. Once an attitude of mutual respect and teamwork is established, it is everyone's responsibility to maintain it. Good leadership skills should be an integral part of training and development. Mentors, whether assigned formally or established informally, can also play a key role in helping foster an associate’s career growth and development.
With the survey finding 66% of learning experiences are wasted time, there is an obvious disconnect between trainer and trainee. A good deal of training is conducted informally and some people are better at it than others. Those people should be identified.
5. Review your onboarding process for new hires.
The onboarding process says a lot about a company’s corporate culture. In addition to simply having a work area ready for new hires, there should be a plan in place to get them trained and integrated into their role. It then becomes everyone's responsibility to be welcoming. Simple acts of inclusion, greeting, information sharing, and asking if they need help can make a workplace more inviting - resulting in an easier transition.
Successful implementation of these recommendations requires us to take an active role in making them happen, including a willingness to interact, speak up and ask questions. Failure to do so can result in large scale job dissatisfaction. And it’s hard to be happy in that environment.
- “Report shows management is failing employees,” Scott Mautz, Inc. Magazine, July 26, 2018
- “Employee Engagement on the Rise in the U.S.,” by Jim Harter, Economy, August 26, 2018 https://news.gallup.com/poll/241649/employee-engagement-rise.aspxdera
The material contained in this publication has been prepared solely for informational purposes by Genesis Management and Insurance Services Corporation.
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